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Choosing a Backpack for 2+ month of traveling

12:40 a.m. on December 26, 2010 (EST)
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Greeting all,

I'm new to this forum and respectively new to the 2+month backpacking so bare with me.

This winter I'm going to south east Asia, however, in the summer I'll be going to the cold and harsh areas of Norway and would like a backpack that would suit both these klima' and "hostile" environments. Would like one that last but are also effortable my price range is between 200$-350$.

I have looked at backpack from Gregory, White mountain and North face (just to pick those I felt most comfortable when trying them in the shops), and was leaning towards those from Gregory though I get confused by all the different (non brand biased) reviews of what to get and what not to get as most of what I find have been for 1-4 weeks travel.

So is there a big difference when choosing your backpack for 4weeks travel and 12 weeks traveling? (besides the obvious weight limit on weight issue and what to pack), are there curtain features to a backpack that is essential for a 2+ month travel?

What should I get for a backpack?

I'm 1.89m high and medium muscular but somewhat slim with a medium torso

Thank you all in advance, have injoyed reading on this forum alot

2:28 a.m. on December 26, 2010 (EST)
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IMO a pack for any adventure longer than a week will have the same design considerations for the applicable venue - that is a pack for hiking a week in the Sierras will require the features as one purchased to do the PCT all summer.  So the question is what constitutes your venues, and what are the important considerations for you.  Some of my trekker friends don’t do gonzo events, and instead place airport friendliness above weight in what they seek from a pack.  I don’t use a blivet style water vessel, so don’t need the pocket for it, but others I know are keen to have this feature.  Some like lots of pockets, other look for lashing points.  And then there is that whole internal/external frame debate. (I own and use both so don’t look for me to take sides.)  Thus I can offer you only some generic advice.  Don’t scrimp; spend what it takes to get the right pack.  For most folks this is a life long purchase, so treat it accordingly.  Whatever you pick, a pack must meet two criteria:  good design, materials, craftsmanship, and a good fit.  Try it on, with weighed down with the load you anticipate hauling, and wear it around the store for a few hours.  Better yet rent it for a weekend, if that option is available.    

Ed

3:45 a.m. on December 26, 2010 (EST)
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Norway? I'll jump at the opportunity to put in another plug for our web site:

http://www.norwayhut2hut.com/Home.html

(see also various trip reports I have posted, i.e. http://www.trailspace.com/forums/trip-reports/topics/58383.html#58383)

If you are going to use t

My tip: avoid the luggage-style traveller's backpacks with long wraparound zippers. Zippers are always the first thing to die.

 

8:30 p.m. on December 26, 2010 (EST)
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J E N- First and formost Iam jealous! LOL   Second Big Red Lives in Norway so take that 100% sound advise. Third Whome Worry(ED) has a tremendous amount of experiance behind his opinions and he best lays it out for you to decide because thats what is going to happen.That and he has done more than I. Yes please make sure the pack fits correctly. That is 1 priority.IMYO This may upset the retailer but tough your the one buying the pack. Take a loud of cloths and items to the store where you looked at them. Fill it up and walk around. Feel the weight. Your the one carrying it not them. You want to know what you can get into the pack right? how much Room? This helps you figure what you will need or if the pack is to small.. Like whome worry(ED) said do you want pockets? take it from there. What it comes down to good product you feel comfortable with. Not what I prefer because we all have differnet brands or packs we like. But fill the pack or rent it like( ED )said and try it on for awhile. But spend the money on what (you )want and can use. I agree with whome worry (ED).

9:10 p.m. on December 26, 2010 (EST)
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Thank you very much for the replies!

 

Whomeworry: I'll try to follow your advice have my last try of the bags tomorrow, will see what works best.

 

BigRed: waow looks very nice, will definitely consider it

9:57 p.m. on December 26, 2010 (EST)
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i agree with the comments above.

1.  above all, make sure it fits with weight.  if you have retail stores with people experienced in fitting backpacks, that would be your best bet.  have them explain what the various straps do, how they function, and adjust them to fit you best.

2.  pick a size you can carry comfortably.  getting a very large pack you can't carry doesn't make sense. 

3.  make sure it's durable - 12 weeks out, you want to minimize the risk of gear failure.  i used a north face expedition backpack for nearly 20 years.  it was an outstanding pack in every respect.  when i finally wanted to replace it, i was not impressed with the design or build quality of north face's lineup of backpacks.  i think  you would do better with the other brands that felt comfortable to you. 

osprey, granite gear, and arcteryx make quality backpacks designed for women too - worth considering.  granite gear backpacks tend to be lighter weight, and in my experience there is a tradeoff - they aren't as capable of carrying heavier loads. 

have fun!

8:21 a.m. on December 27, 2010 (EST)
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I just noticed a chunk got cut out of my last post -- this has happened before but I don't know why.

What I was going to say was that both for travel in the tropics and if you decide to rely on huts in Norway (if you can afford them!) you may not have to carry as much stuff as for traveling in colder places and/or with full tenting & cooking gear. That means you might be able to keep your pack size and weight down -- always nice!

11:16 a.m. on December 27, 2010 (EST)
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You don't always have to spend a fortune to get a good backpack. $250-350 is very high in my opinion. I purchased my Kelty backpacks off ebay and craigslist for near $75 each. They are large frame and full featured backpacks. 

Here is a video review of them to give you an idea of features.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynIlrp3r_zY

When you start to figure the price of a complete set of gear including proper cloths it gets very expensive very fast. Also your dealing with equipment a lot of people buy then sell cheep when they don't use it anymore.

The newest tech item is going to cost a lot but used stuff that is well made can last.

April 18, 2014
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